During the Big Three run of the Miami Heat, they had three players who all did great things with the ball in their hand. So their center, Joel Anthony, didn’t have to do a whole lot of ball handling. His main concerns were rebounding and defense. As a result, in 2011-2012, he had one of the lowest usage rates of any qualifying season ever.
But what if I told you there was a player who had FIVE qualifying seasons that were even lower! Enter Theodore Roosevelt Dunn – the Usage Master.
T.R. Dunn played 14 seasons in the NBA. He was a solid role player in nearly 1000 games, for both Portland and Denver (as well as a quick stint with Phoenix). But he wasn’t the type of player to stand out too much – or be too flashy. But he was the type of player that you LOVE to have on your team. Dunn knew what he was in the NBA, and played his part very well.
Dunn made the All-NBA Defensive 2nd team three years in a row. He’s currently 65th all-time in NBA career steals. And he was a great rebounder. Of players 6’4″ or shorter, he’s third all-time in rebounding percentage, behind only Russell Westbrook and Fat Lever. This was a man who knew how to contribute to his team without the ball in his hands – an indispensable piece on any team that wants to win.
And when your team has such scorers as Alex English, David Thompson, Dan Issel and Kiki Vandeweghe, having a player like T.R. Dunn is key to success. On the Denver Nuggets all-time lists, Dunn is still 4th in games played, 2nd in steals and 10th in rebounds.
Since retiring from the NBA, Dunn has been an assistant coach for four different NBA teams and also ran his own basketball academy. I think graduates from the Dunn Basketball Academy are going to be the sort of player you want on your team.